It is the earliest ripening variety in Southern France, hence its use as a high cropping variety suitable for the production of undistinguished vin ordinaire.
Curiously, unlike most other varieties, the flesh and juice as well as the skin is pigmented. Grapes with this property are called "Teinturier" varieties. Saperavi is another variety with coloured juice. It is thus sometimes used in blends to add colour to otherwise pale red wine.
Alicante is a city on the Mediterranean coast of Spain and the name of its surrounding wine region, but this variety has little to do with the city. In fact, Alicante is one of the many synonyms used in Spain and Italy for Grenache, but Alicante Bouschet is a distinct variety. Henri Bouschet produced the variety in the mid 19th Century as a crossing of Petit Bouschet with Grenache. It's ability to yield well and the deep colour made it popular in Southern France and in Spain.
Jancis Robinson designates it as a 'workhorse variety' but the Alicante Bouschet red wine grape variety is becoming much less popular because the wines made from it tend to lack structure.
Its fate in Australia seems to be similar to that in France. Consumers as well as winemakers are more interested in quality wines and Alicante Bouchet wines often do not make the grade. That said, with care and attention the variety can be made into good red or rose wines. It is used by Virgara to make sparkling wine.